Biking Gaspe (page 4) - CycleBlaze

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Biking Gaspe (page 4)

John SaxbyTo Jacquie Gaudet

Weird stuff weatherwise going down everywhere, Jacquie.  Our son and his family live in the SE corner of Queensland, on the coast & v near the NSW border.  It's rained steadily there since December, and when we arrived 3 weeks ago, everything was a startling green.

I had been looking forward to a solo ride up into the hills of the Gatineau park across the river, but Qué has closed its borders to all non-essential traffic. My only "Ah, well..." is that the roads in the park are usually still blocked by snow on their upper reaches until about the 3rd week of April.  Lotsa handy mantras: "This too shall pass," and one from Nigeria that I like, borrowed from a minibus: "No condition permanent."

Dealing with self-isolation hasn't been so bad--making loadsa soup, tweaking the bikes, catching up on reading, A1 afternoon naps prompted by jetlag.  Unexpected treats popping up from memory are songs like Moustaki's "Ma solitude".  The line I like best is "Je ne suis jamais seul/Avec ma solitude"  Here's the whole thing:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Cheers,  John

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10 months ago
David BabcockTo John Saxby

I did part of Gaspe way back, 91 I think, my first trip with four panniers, a tent etc

The etc was frankly just too much stuff, and suffered mightily on the real bugger climbs along the gaspe.

I know you folks have no choice not to go this summer, but certainly be aware that there some challenging hills. I'll always remember one downhill that was probably the fastest I've ever been on a bike, no bike computer then, but I reckon 90k, which even to someone who had been on motorcycles a lot, it was frighteningly fast. 

Can confirm that the north shore is very very challenging hills wise. I've only ridden there unloaded, but even in car it's darn hilly with some real long heart breakers of climbs. 

Re weather, the river, the st Lawrence, is cold all year around, and makes it much cooler there all summer.

And yes, only ride out towards  seat for prevailing winds. still remember the few poor souls going the other way. 

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8 months ago
John SaxbyTo David Babcock

You're right about the hills, David, for sure.  Before we did our trip, I had a close look at the hills along the route.  I chose to make a clockwise route, and that paid off: we had a couple of 17% downgrades along the N and NE coast, and into Gaspé village from Forillon Natl Park.  We would have had a 24-25% (!!) downgrade into Percé as well, but we decided to bail out of that. Instead we took the truck route bypass, slightly inland. (No trucks on it, as I recall.)

Another advantage of the clockwise route is that you're on the inside (hill/cliff-side) lane of any downhill.  I don't much like being on the exposed edge of mountain roads, especially on downhills, if I don't know the quality/presence of guardrails, the road surface, traffic behaviour, etc., etc. (Too much time spent on roads lacking guard rails, gazing down the hillside/cliffside on upside-down wrecked vehicles...)

The winds do shift -- not much to be done about that.  On our ride westwards along the southern shore, we had a fierce tailwind one day, and an equally fierce headwind the next.

Cheers,  John

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8 months ago
Bill SmithTo Scott Anderson

A few years ago I toured the Gaspe. I started and finished in Quebec City. I toured the North coast of the St. Lawrence crossing over to the Gaspe at Rimouski after cycling around the Saguenay Fjord. I loved the whole trip, but really liked a small town on the fjord - St. Rose du Nord. There are quite a few hills on this trip and I walked a short distance on a number of times. I highly recommend my route. You can read my journal on CGOAB if you can get on and if this reply doesn’t get me kicked off.

Bill Smith

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1 week ago
Jacquie GaudetTo Bill Smith

Hi Bill

I just looked at that and plan to read it but I'd like even better to read it here...along with your other journals.  I can read things on cgoab but can't log in anymore as my account was closed by the site operator.

Greetings from the rainy Lower Mainland!

Jacquie

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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill Smith

Thanks for the reminder, Bill.  Gaspe is still sitting there on our dream list, along with the dream of entering Canada at all.  One of these years.

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1 week ago
John SaxbyTo Scott Anderson

along with the dream of entering Canada at all.  One of these years.

Y'know, Scott, here's something you might consider:  when we were doing our circuit of the Gaspé a decade ago (yikes!), we had a brief chat with a Québecois guy who was doing a tour of the Gulf of St Lawrence littoral.  His route included the Gaspé, the Acadian (Gulf) coast of New Brunswick, the Gulf coast of the Nova Scotia mainland & Cape Breton, the west coast of Newfoundland, and the Lower St Lawrence (the North Shore of the St Lawrence.)  Of course there are several ferries involved as well: across the St Lawrence at different points within Qué., across the Strait of Belle Isle betw Qué & Nfld and then again along the Lower St Lawrence shore where there is no highway, and betw Sydey (NS) and Port-aux-Basques, Nfld.  

I'd guess that might take 5-6 weeks in all, depending on any side trips to spots like Louisbourg in NS or l'Anse-aux-Meadows in Nfld.  Would be a demanding but hugely rewarding trek.

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1 week ago
Scott AndersonTo John Saxby

We have considered a ride like that, actually.  Our son lives in Minneapolis, and we’ve talked about starting out from there after a family visit and heading northeast into Canada some year- certainly at least to Quebec City, a place we’d love to revisit.  It could even happen this year, especially if Canada opens their borders to us but Europe hasn’t yet.

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1 week ago
John SaxbyTo Scott Anderson

That would be a good trek, Minneapolis to Québec.  We have some serious vaccinating to be done if this year is to be an option.  Not out of the question, but any touring "plans" are at best only pencilled in at the moment.  Give a shout if you come through Ottawa.

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1 week ago